ALCF Thomas L. Schmitt Home Movies Clip R 8
- Publication date
A Film by Thomas L Schmitt
This clip (R8), titled “Ice Diving in Tucker Lake” was filmed by Thomas L. Schmitt. Its custodian and archive is The Filson Historical Society. The 8mm film chronicles a 1960 scuba diving expedition by the Kentuckiana Scuba-Diving Club on Tucker Lake. The lake, a former quarry located in southeastern Jefferson County, Kentucky, was a the time a summertime destination for swimming and recreation. The recreational facilities have since been removed, and a housing development now encircles the lake. The film captures scenes above and under the ice, the divers excitedly exploring the lakebed and locating unusual objects.
To read more about Thomas Schmitt’s recollections and Tucker Lake’s history visit http://www.courier journal.com/story/news/history/river- city retro/2015/01/09/history- brrr- ice-diving- tucker-lake/21516649/
The conservation and 2k digital capture of this reel was completed through a 2016 Al Larvick National Grant awarded by the Al Larvick Conservation Fund (ALCF) to Filson Historical Society, in partnership with the fund’s sponsor, Pro8mm. To learn more about its grant and the film’s content visit https://www.allarvickfund.org/ice-diving- in-tucker- lake/
The mission of the Al Larvick Conservation Fund is to preserve historical and cultural heritage through conservation, education, and the public accessibility of American home and amateur analog audiovisual materials. For more information, visit allarvickfund.org.
The Filson Historical Society is Kentucky’s oldest privately supported historical society, founded in 1884. The organization has been collecting and preserving Kentucky and the Ohio Valley region’s significant stories for over 130 years.
Collection Title: Ice Diving in Tucker Lake
Original format: 8mm film, silent.
Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048 x 1080.
Length/feet or running time: Approx. 125ft
Circa: Winter 1959-60
The film’s creator is Thomas L. Schmitt, a member of the Kentuckiana Scuba-Diving Club (founded in 1959). In the winter of 1960, he and other members of the club, wishing to experiment with cold-water diving and underwater photography, cut through the ice in Tucker Lake and made the film now in the Filson’s collection. The lake, a former quarry located in southeastern Jefferson County, Kentucky, was at that time a summertime destination for swimming and recreation. The recreational facilities have since been removed, and a housing development now encircles the lake. The film captures scenes above and under the ice, the divers excitedly exploring the lakebed and locating unusual objects.
1960. (0:07) An ice diver in a skin suit ascends a ladder at Tucker Lake in Kentucky. (0:25) A diver untangles a lifeline that is submerged in the icy waters. (0:39) A few from the dock facing down at the lifeline floating. (0:43) A diver, poking out of a hole in the ice, waves their glove at the camera.
(0:51) An underwater shot of the diver descending into the lake. (1:00) Two divers swimming underwater. (1:08) Close-ups of the divers. You can see the large oxygen tanks on their back that provide up to 20 minutes of air. (1:13) Another shot of a diver floating near the surface. The suit has numerous layers to keep the body warm. (1:20) A diver floats over some rocks, looking for hidden objects. The water gets clearer as the temperature gets colder. The visibility gets up to 50 ft. (1:43) A diver swims around some sort of metal frame that is completely submerged. (2:01) A diver floats directly toward the camera. (2:11) Dark footage of what appears to be train tracks. The team located a gondola and some tracks in the lake. (2:17) A diver floats around some underwater rock formations.
(2:40) Camera pans up at the lifelines hanging from the dock at the lake’s surface. (3:04) A shot of beneath the dock (possibly reserve oxygen tanks). (3:14) A diver plays around with a chair they found, sitting on it underwater. (3:23) Dark footage, it’s difficult to make out any details. (3:46) Dark shots of the divers floating beneath the surface. (4:10) Divers swimming near the bottom of the lake. (4:28) Divers swimming near the surface.
(4:40) A diver swims through a metal frame. (4:51) Divers swimming. (5:00) A diver examining a metal object. (5:18) A diver turns a wheel on the object. (5:30) Diver swimming over lake bottom. (5:36) Divers examining a small metal plate that they found. (5:50) Divers swimming and holding onto some objects that they found. (6:02) The chair that they found is tied to a rope being pulled toward the surface. (6:11) A diver changes their course.
(6:38) A diver “climbs” up a long metal pole. (6:50) A diver makes a hand signal, motioning to the surface. (7:00) A shark with another fish attached to it swims near the bottom of the lake. (7:10) A diver climbs up a rope to the surface.
(7:16) The diver emerges and takes off their mask and flippers. (7:33) The diver works on removing the rest of his suit. (8:03) The diver poses with a giant ice block.
For more details on the divers at Tucker Lake, visit these contemporary and retrospective articles about the team: https://www.allarvickfund.org/ice-diving-in-tucker-lake/
- Contact Information
- For further questions about this reel, please contact The Filson Historical Society http://filsonhistorical.org
- 2017-09-05 04:21:34
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